Chinese discounts jumps to premium on open arbitrage window
- Asian nickel once more traded at a premium while an open arbitrage window enlivened spot activity in the region
- European market remained subdued on lack of physical appetites despite lower LME price
- US premiums held with participants focused on contract business for 2020
Discounts for nickel full-plate cathodes in the Chinese import market turned into premiums
in the week to November 5 when the import arbitrage window opened abruptly during the week.
“The import window opened intermittently this week due to technical squeezing on China’s futures exchanges rather than due to supply tightness,” a Shanghai-based trader said. “That’s why the import window opened and why nickel is trading in a premium now.”
The Chinese nickel import market had been closed since late July and nickel cathodes premiums dramatically swung into discount from late October while the...